Saturday 3 March 2018

Hicks play a fine opening set

WE CHECK the weather and roads situation first thing. I’m nervous about getting into Glasgow and really hope we don;t have to cancel tonight’s show.

Things look fairly positive and after packing the gear and merch we hit the road just after 11am – a good few hours earlier than we would normally leave for the city. I need to know in good time if there’s gonna be any problems.

Luckily the road to Drymen has been cleared and although still a bit dicey, someone has ploughed through the eight foot snowdrifts that blocked the road last night. We take the less exposed route through Balloch and hit the road.

All’s good and we get to Braehead in time for some lunch. There’s still time to kill, so we go and check out a kitchen place in Hillington called Kitchen Depot that someone recommended to Margaret. We’re immediately impressed by the family-run firm and the girl we sit down to talk designs with is amazing. Looks like we’re gonna go with this! Dunno where the dosh is coming from tho’.

Next stop, the Hug & Pint. We load in and meet the guys form Hicks who.re doing the support slot. Soundman Ross is excellent and soon we’re all soundchecked and upstairs having a beer and some fantastic grub.

Advance sales are pretty good and the place slowly fills over the half hour between doors opening and Hicks taking the stage. They play a cracking set, then it’s my turn.

I have a grand time and it’s a great crowd…luckily there a fair amount of walk ups, especially as a fair few ticket holders don’t show. The bad weather must still be scuppering folks’ plans.

We’re loaded out and back at Jonzip and Maggi’s before midnight. Maggi’s made a big pot of chilli…we eat drink and chat…another 4am shot.

I really enjoy playing at the Hug & Pint

 

 

Saturday 9 September 2017

Fun at the Tooth & Claw, Inverness

WE’RE packed and on the road by midday…some stuff to drop off at Catriona and Will’s then up to Inverness.

After checking in at our B&B we drop some vinyl copies of the new album off at Union Vinyl β€“ the owner’s enthusiastic and apologies he can;t come to the gig tonight – the first he heard of it was when he saw my Facebook ad this morning πŸ™

We carry on to load in at The Tooth & Claw.

The upstairs venue is still in a bit of turmoil but manager/soundman James is on the case and soon I’m set up and soundchecked. It’s a pretty good room – good vibe and decent sound. 

We nip out to find some grub and notice that none of the music shops or other places with posters nearby have any posters for my show. Disappointing as we had a big bunch of posters printed and sent to the venue….there’s one up in the venue window, but other than that, nada.

The big ‘what’s on blackboard outside has a blank on tonight’s date. We query the blank and it appears “the guy that does that has been off sick”. I blu-tak some flyers on the board.

Sadly, it’s the same story we’ve found with most venues we hire for self-promo shows….they promote their own bookings but when a third party is taking the risk event details/visibility is minimal. Bizarre as you’d expect these places would want a busy night and maximise their bar sales. Moral of the story, I guess, is that we need someone ‘on the ground’ in place we’re doing self-promo shows…

Shame really, because we love the place, the people and the sound.

Regardless of  lack of promo support there’s a nice wee crowd in and I have a blast – two 45-minute sets – then time to catch up with folks and, after hours, share a little of the Glengoyne love.

It’s midnight when we retrieve the car from a nearby multi-storey, load out, grab a pizza and head back to the B&B.

After hours I share a dram of Glengoyne’s special ‘Dave Arcari’ single malt with soundman James, Joan and Bugsy πŸ™‚

Sunday 27 August 2017

Headlining the acoustic stage at the Great British R&B Festival in Colne.

BREAKFAST at the B&B is 8.30am..the latest they do! Not the best place for musicians playing a festival.

The proprietors are a lovely old couple but jeez, the breakfast is shit.

First up, the plate for fruit/cereal is manky, So bad that I pass on fruit or cereal. I ask for sausage and hash browns..the lady says she’s cooked bacon so I agree to some of that too. Then it comes. One sausage, one rasher of bacon and one hash brown. The bacon and hash brown is OK, but the sausage – which I’ve split and put between a couple of bits of toast is so bad it makes me gag. Never tasted anything like it. The remainder is wrapped in a  napkin to be disposed of later. They’re such a nice old couple I don’t want to cause any fuss.

Onward to Colne in Lancashire for the Great British R&B Festival –  a two-and-a-half/three-hour drive via a McDonalds for a replacement breakfast!

We roll up at our pals Rodge and Jan’s about 2pm, drop our bags and then we all head to the Little Theatre where I headline the festival’s acoustic stage at 5pm.

The place is busy and we catch up with loads of folks and chat over a few beers until it’s time to set up my gear and hit the stage. The Little Theatre is a fantastic venue and the sound is great too. The place is jammed and folks are craning their necks round the doors to catch some of my show.

As soon as I’m done I join Margaret at the merch table outside and chat with loads of folks and sign their CDs and vinyl.

We take everything back to Rodge and Jan’s then get a taxi back into town where we spend the rest of the evening doting form venue to venue watching lots of music and perhaps having a bit too much to drink too. Grand day out:-)

Some the youngest music fans at my show πŸ™‚

Friday 14 July 2017

Givers & Takers hits the iTunes blues chart at number six. Click the image to check it out πŸ™‚

SINGLE release day! Givers & Takers is now available. Get it here.

I’m up at a decent time to add a landing page to the website, post Facebook profile and page banners and a bunch of other social media stuff to spread the word…and, of course, an iTunes link.

Once that’s all done I set up for a Facebook livestrream and although the broadband connection is slow, at least it doesn’t completely drop off meaning the livestream goes relatively smoothly..although as you’ll see from the ‘play again’ video below, there’s still a few glitches…

There’s poster art and tickets to be sorted for a newly booked Aberdeen show at the Blue Lamp on Friday 15 September – tickets available here.

A big box of old photos I pulled down from the loft has been hanging about the office for a while and for some reason I decide to tackle the job of scanning them….a few hours later…

A quick look at Apple Music shows that Givers & Takers has gone into the Apple Music/iTunes blues charts at number six! This morning’s work has paid off πŸ™‚

That’s one position higher than last year’s Hellbound Train EP which debuted at number seven and had the benefit of a load of PR, promo and a month’s worth of pre-orders…

 

Tuesday 6 June 2017

I GET cracking on the holiday lodge website – and start uploading a video ‘walk through. 

We reckoned it might be a good idea to put out a download-only single in advance of the album launch – so Givers & Takers will be released on Friday 14 July.

Givers & Takers single coming soon!

So while the website video is uploading (slow progress!) I hit the studio and do some artwork to accompany Givers & Takers. Not my usual style, but I want it to stand out in the digital field and not be confused with the live album or the already-released EP.

Back in the office, the video walkthrough has hardly started the upload, so I abandon that until I can get a better connection and set up the release and distribution for Givers & Takers.

Then I get busy with the other parts of the website that I can do without a fast connection. 

By dinner time I’ve got things pretty much as I want them – a few details to be confirmed and info to be checked – and just a placeholder where the video will be – so I call my client and let them know the holding page will be down for the next few hours to let them have a proper look at progress. They agree to let me know any changes either later tonight or tomorrow morning.

Friday 10 February 2017

Awesome night at the Hug & Pint thanks to Jamie (Little Fire), left, and soundman Doug πŸ™‚

GIG day today – so first task is printing out set lists and getting some last-miniute online and social media promo out.

We’re also gonna try recording tonight’s show and I spend a while gathering an assortment of mics, cables, splitter boxes and other stuff along with the eight-track recorder.

I’m just about to pack the car when Joe shows up to measure our front door to see if their old canopy could be put to good use. I finish packing then there’s time for a coffee and a blether. Joe heads back along the road and we head for Glasgow.

The Hug & Pint is β€“ along with Broadcast, King Tut;s and the Glad Cafe – one of our favourite Glasgow venues and I;m really looking forward to tonight’s gig.

Soundman Doug is ready and waiting when we load in – he’s done my sound a few times in the past and always been great. We’re set up in no time and Doug goes way beyond the call of duty in helping us set up to record the show with minimum fuss…he plugs in his laptop, has loads of good ideas and soon we;re soundchecked and back upstairs enjoying some amazing grub. The food at the Hug & Pint is amazing too!

My pal Jamie – aka Little Fire – who’s opening the show arrives just as we finish eating and is all set up and soundchecked by the time doors open at 8pm. 

There’s a good crowd in for Jamie kicking things off and he plays a wonderful set. So glad we managed to sort a show together after years of talking about it!

I do a quick Facebook Live from backstage and sink a wee dram before I start my set. The place is pretty packed – a nice mixture of old and new faces πŸ™‚

After load out there’s time for a drink then we make for home, stopping off for a haggis supper en route. That’s fucked the low carb efforts of the last few days!

Dave Arcari is a full-time touring alternative blues (alt.blues) guitar player
 and songwriter 
based on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland

Saturday 11 June 2016

A fantastic finale to the Hellbound Train tour :-)

A fantastic finale to the Hellbound Train tour πŸ™‚

WE have a lazy morning – recovery, I guess – at Lesley’s and after breakfast and catching up with some online stuff we pack the car and make our way to Glasgow.

It’s an easy load in at The Hug & Pint and nice to see engineer Doug who’s done my sound in the past in various Glasgow venues.

We’re set up and soundchecked when Lee arrives and gets set up…we have some grub then wait for doors opening at 7.30pm

The Hug & Pint used to be the Roxy 171 – and the Liquid Ship before that. With each reincarnation the venue has got better and now it’s the perfect space for a Dave Arcari show…not too big, monster PA, great engineer. Oh, and the food and beer is great too!

There’s a great crowd in, Lee plays a blinder and I have an amazing time playing, fuelled by the great crowd and maybe some beer and whisky too!

Lots of pals and folks we know in for the show and once we’ve packed up there’s time to hang out for a few drinks. A great finaleΒ to three hectic nights’ gigging.